Maybe you were thinking about divorce last year.
Or, maybe divorce is something you started contemplating more recently.
Did you know that January is unofficially "Divorce month?" Trends show that there is an influx of divorce filings in January compared to other months.
A lot of people choose to stick it out during the holidays. I'm not a professional psychologist, but I have my theories.
Maybe they don't want to be alone during the holidays. Maybe they are willing to give it one more chance, or more time. Maybe they want to see what gifts they get and if they don't like them, that's the last straw. When the holiday hoopla dies down, they realize it's a new year and it's time to make a fresh start.
What Are You Waiting For?
Divorce is not something to take lightly. It is not something that any person should jump into without engaging in a lot of forethought and introspection. In fact, I'm typically the attorney who encourages couples to go to therapy, give it one more shot and attempt to reconcile.
I also can't stand to see people waste more time if the situation is just untenable.
If you know the marriage is not going to work and it's just a matter of time, perhaps you should consider making this year the year and begin preparing yourself for what lies ahead... a brighter and happier future.
I tell clients that divorce is like a Band-Aid. Just rip it off and get it over with.
Many times, there is no upside to waiting, hoping, or even trying to make the marriage work. Assuming you have put in the work and given it the thought it deserves, getting divorced may be the best decision you can make this year.
Upsides of Getting Divorced Now:
Let's look at some of the upsides of getting divorced now:
• You start a process that likely will take at least a year, so you will be ready, or almost ready to start the rest of your life this time next year.
• You remove yourself from a bad situation and possibly an abusive relationship.
• You allow yourself the opportunity to possibly meet a partner who compliments you and adds positivity to your life.
• If you have children, you lead by example and teach them about healthy relationships.
Downsides of Not Getting Divorced
Here are the downsides of not getting divorced and waiting:
• You remain in a negative environment.
• Maintain your likely depression.
• Engage in unhealthy habits, i.e. emotionally, physically.
• Reinforce negative modeling for your children.
• Continue to accumulate assets that will be subject to distribution later.
You have heard the saying "life is short," but life can be excruciatingly long if you're in a bad marriage and unhappy. Don't you want to make the best of the short time you have in this lifetime?
I don't know what happens after death, but this is the only ride we get here on Earth, so make the most of it. If you're in an unhappy marriage and you don't think there is any chance of reconciling, then begin preparations for moving on.
"But, I'm too old to get divorced."
I hear that all the time. It's hogwash, or as I like to say in legal terminology, "cocky poopy." I don't care how old you are, you deserve to be happy. So does your spouse. Chances are if you're unhappy, your spouse is unhappy too. You both deserve to be happy and if that means getting divorced, then so be it.
There are a lot of parents who don't get divorced because they want their children to be in an intact family. That's admirable, but it doesn't fly with me.
Children are smart and adaptable. If the divorce is conducted properly and both parents do what is in the best interests of the children, the children will be fine. Parents shouldn't sacrifice their sanity and happiness because they think their children won't be able to cope with a divorce.
Both the children and the parents should be in counseling during the divorce. That's a no brainer, especially if the divorce will be contentious.
Are You Getting Divorced This Year?
January is a popular month for filing for divorce. It doesn't matter when you file for divorce, but if you think that's where you are heading, start preparing now. The more prepared you are for the process, the better and smoother it will be.
Don't spend another year being unhappy. Divorce is so common these days, there is no stigma attached to being a divorcee. The marriage may not have worked, but if you have children, you may be better parents to them if you are divorced. You don't have to be best friends with you spouse, or even friends. Just be cordial to each other and do what is best for the children and you will be fine.
You deserve to be happy. Now, go out and make it happen!
Jason Levoy, a/k/a The Divorce Resource Guy, is an attorney who coaches people without a lawyer how to navigate the divorce process and represent themselves in court. He regularly provides free advice via his blog, VIP newsletter and Private Divorce Facebook Group.
Looking for help? Check out the premier divorce resource, How to Get Divorced, A-Z, which teaches you everything you need to know to get through the divorce process.